CULINARY THRILL SEEKING: Get in gear for 2016

Published 6:44 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Look at the date! Timing shows a cusp of topic: Plan ahead for a healthy new year/indulge in festivities.

I say both. I love the extra rich flavors of the season from buttery seafood sauces to chocolates and fried bites of heaven. And I also love the way it feels to eat real foods from the earth that aren’t over-processed into a box on the market shelf.

My plan is to indulge and merge right into the healthy stuff. With you guys . . . next week.

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The good news is, there’s always another celebration around the corner. Christmas and New Year’s pave the way for Mardi Gras, which will be celebrated Feb. 4-7 in downtown Port Arthur. Get ready for the Sweet Soiree theme.

New Year’s Eve

The fresh, salty brine of an oyster says New Year’s Eve to me and I’m again sharing a super-easy recipe that’s just right for festivities. It’s easy to keep cans of oysters in the pantry if you can’t get to fresh ones.

Oyster Spread: Mash up the contents of a can of smoked oysters and mix it in to cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese. Form into a ball or block and spread on crackers.

You’re done.

Now for something healthy:

As I write this in advance, I’m anticipating some good sales on cabbage, because we southerners have to have our cabbage on New Year’s Day.

Stock up and shred it into all manner of salads, use it in fish tacos and sauté it as a side dish.

Cause for celebration:

“Celebrate: Food, Family, Shabbos” – What didn’t I learn from this book?

Elizabeth Kurtz shares Jewish culture in the pages of this beautiful cookbook that is heavy with ideas, good stock paper, and beautiful photographs.

Can you imagine horseradish meringue-topped salmon? It’s a real thing and it looks delicious.

My takeaways from this book:

* Something thank you, expensive, or which looks elegant when served in a stand glance. Example from the book: Skewered Gefilte Fish with Zesty a Ratatouille.

* Liver can work with cherries.

* Gingersnap cookies can go into a sauce for sweet and sour cabbage.

Great opening paragraphs come with recipes. I want to be at this author’s table.